Deliberate practice: Necessary but not sufficient
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
Deliberate practice (DP) occurs when an individual intentionally repeats an activity in order to improve performance. The claim of the DP framework is that such behavior is necessary to achieve high levels of expert performance. The proponents of the framework reject evidence that suggests that other variables are also necessary to achieve high levels of expert performance, or they claim that the relationship between those variables and expert performance is mediated by DP. Therefore, the DP framework also implies that DP is sufficient to achieve high levels of expert performance. We test these claims by reviewing studies on chess expertise. We found strong evidence that abundant DP is necessary (but not sufficient) and estimated that the minimum requirement to achieve master level is 3,000 hours of DP. We also review evidence showing that other factors play a role in chess skill: general cognitive abilities, sensitive period, handedness, and season of birth.